A child is very sensitive during early period days and in such conditions do not want to step out of the comfort zone. At school too, sitting and standing several times, physical activities, and improper hygiene services are a concern for most of them.
To top it all, period cramps often cause a lot of distraction and trouble the little girls with nobody to share the feeling with. Since the body undergoes so many changes, it is natural for a girl to be a little under-confident.
As a parent/guardian, it is necessary for us to train our children to deal with such situations boldly and correctly.
Here are a few methods/remedies that will help you deal with period cramps at school –
1. Eat calcium rich foods 4-5 days in advance
One often knows the tentative dates of the periods. So, to reduce the problems in those days, start eating calcium rich foods 4-5 days in advance.
Make sure you get 2-3 servings of low fat calcium food each day. This will prevent excessive cramps and give the body strength during periods.
Foods like spinach, ladies finger, broccoli, almonds, soy milk, yogurt, fortified tofu, milk, green beans, and bok choy are excellent source of calcium that can be consumed to strengthen the body.
Their richness in iron also benefits the blood flow and regulates the cycle.
2. Drink water to calm down the body
While in class and the cramps are distracting you, drink a sip or two of water to calm down the body.
Drinking water immediately helps relax the muscles and decrease the severity of cramps. In general also, during periods, drink plenty of water so that the toxins are flushed out of the system early and you have a happy time in coming days.
Thus, you suffer cramps but for a smaller duration. Drinking water also helps keep vaginal infections caused during periods at bay.
3. Try breathing exercises
You sure cannot lie down or take rest in the middle of the classroom, but inhaling and exhaling deeply for 5-7 times help reduce the severity of the situation.
At the same time, try to divert attention from the cramps to some other object; this distraction will help the brain focus a little less on the cramps for a while.
Use this simple exercise: Place your hands on the cramping zone and inhale deeply, pressing the region slightly, then exhale and release pressure.
4. Try pressure points
Our body has pressure points that relax the abdominal muscles, which cause pain during periods. Try the following exercises any time anywhere:
- Below the navel, approximately at 4 finger level, use the middle finger and press slightly. Hold for 2-3 minutes then release.
- At the hip bones, on the front side, there are pressure points that can be massaged for a while to relieve cramps.
- Another small trick that can be done without anyone noticing is gentle rubbing of the cramping area or abdominal muscles.
- Massage lower back in small circles as this also brings great relief when cramps are severe.
5. Take short walks
Sitting in one place in one position might induce or worsen cramps.
Taking a short walk or climbing a couple of stairs helps reduce the cramps.
This is mainly because of the fact that the body produces endorphin hormone when we are active physically. Endorphin hormones act as a natural pain killer.
They are also called ‘feel good hormones’ because they are beneficial in treating painful cramps during the sensitive days.
6. Carry a banana
Banana’s richness in potassium makes it an instant solution for menstrual cramps.
You can carry bananas anywhere and eat when the body feels that the cramps are causing disturbances in normal activities.
For girls, it is easy to have a banana handy from home while at school.
There also are times when cramps kill the normal diet and hunger. In such cases, bananas are a healthy option to fill stomach for some time.
7. Essential oils – inhale and apply
Essential oils like thyme and lavender have a soothing sensation and relax the mind and body.
There are two ways of using it at school to have the cramps at bay instantly.
Firstly, apply in the pelvic region thoroughly before dressing up for school.
Deep penetration of these oils helps relax the muscles and prevent pain. Other option is to have the small bottle handy and inhale the oils when the cramps get severe.
This again calms the senses and controls the hormones instantly, leading to reduced pain. Apply it on pulse points at the wrist and inhale through the day to comfort the body during the menstrual phase.
8. Carry personal heating pads
There are several heating pads that can be attached to the abdominal region and activated with a slight push.
These are the best heating pads for menstrual cramps you can try. Pick anyone that suits you.
They are so sleek that they are not detectable over the clothes. You can attach it to the abdomen or keep it in under pockets to soothe the cramps.
Heating the region relaxes the muscles and makes menstrual flow a simpler affair.
Ensure that the region does not get over heated as it might burn the skin or cause redness.
9. Over the counter pain relievers – use it only when it’s severe
Medications to reduce period pain are commonly available and you can consume before going to school to have a comfortable day.
However, take medication after consultation of a medical expert to avoid complications at such tender age.
At the same time, it is essential that the body develops immunity and strength for tolerance of pain, so taking pain relievers every single time is not advisable.
Caution: Pain relievers may also have several side effects like heavy or light flow, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and headaches, and thus should be used cautiously.
10. Take a piece of chocolate
Chocolates are a girl’s best friend and sure save the day in menstrual phase too.
When having severe cramps, take a piece of chocolate in the mouth and consume the melting form without actually chewing it.
Chocolate calms the senses instantly and the high magnesium content gives strength to deal with pains. Chocolate also causes secretion of endorphins in the body, the hormones that is a natural pain killer.
Try these simple techniques while at school, work, travelling or in a public place where you cannot treat the trouble in privacy.
It is not necessary that a single technique works for all, therefore be a decision maker for yourself, take a step at a time and deal with the problem.
Period problems should not restrict you from doing things that you like or are necessary after all.
How to relieve menstrual cramps while you are at home
Recent scientific research has backed the fact that pain of period cramps can be as severe as the pain felt during a mild stroke. This enormous and nerve wrecking pain of menstrual cramps is unimaginable.
The onset of the pain and cramps starts even before the actual bleeding. Cramps are one of the most common symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS).
1. Always stay hydrated
During periods, there is a lot of fluid loss from the body that also disrupts the electrolytic balance of the body.
It is also common for women to face vomiting and diarrhea during this time and these ultimately lead to fluid loss and subsequent dehydration.
Recommendation to drink plenty of water doesn’t work out much because plain water is not much palatable.
Adding some lemon juice or cinnamon powder, carom seeds to the water can make it more acceptable to the mouth. You can also add mint leaves to the water as it helps add a tinge.
If you don’t want to take water as such, then try out fruits and veggies that have high-water content, such as cucumber.
2. Follow proper diet plan
Every woman during her periods has a craving for food that she loves. The food you generally crave for is mostly sweet or fried. You can have them because it is important to stay happy during the periods.
But unfortunately, these stuff cannot help to diminish your pain as such. These instead have a poor physiological performance to relieve period cramps.
During periods, there is high level of inflammation and the internal genitals remain pliable and vulnerable to infection. With a proper diet plan, you can efficiently combat these.
While you are outside home, you really can’t do much with diet. But when you are at home, diet is perhaps the best option to reach out to when it comes to combating pain.
You can try out multiple eatables and drinks that have proven scientific results for the reduction of period cramps.
Omega 3 fatty acid is extremely good. Omega 3 fatty acids counteract the effects of prostaglandins and prevent its excessive release. Prostaglandins is the ultimate inflammatory substance of the body.
Hence, omega 3 fatty acid reduces the inflammation and the subsequent pain of periods.
Beans, almonds, dark leafy vegetables, and marine fishes contain plenty of omega 3 fatty acids. So, you can include these in your diet.
You can have plenty of spinach, beet roots as well. All these green leafy vegetables contain plenty of magnesium and vitamin B6 that help to keep away the nausea feeling.
You can also include fruits like banana in the diet. Banana contains potassium in large quantities, so, it can help to keep you away from bloating and water retention. Thus, you can get rid of the heaviness that you feel during periods.
Chamomile tea and ginger are other magical ingredients to take while you have periods.
Take some cinnamon during your periods because there is an anti-spasmodic property in it.
During the periods, the uterine muscles are always in a state of spasms. Cinnamon reduces this and hence can reduce the pain of periods.
Caffeine helps in delayed onset of period cramps. So, you can always take some dark chocolate. It also boosts up the feel-good hormones of your body.
3. Get a relaxing massage
You can massage the lower abdomen at least two times a day. Use essential oils like those of lavender for this task.
When you massage the area, any potential inflammation diminishes. Moreover, the fragrance of these oils instills the sensation of feeling good and fresh in your mind.
The muscles that become sore and stressed due to repeated spasmodic contractions get relieved when massaged.
When you are at home and have plenty of time at hand, then you can reach out for this technique.
4. Perform acupressure
Go for acupressure techniques. Menstrual cramps though undesirable, yet is a normal process.
It is highly desirable that simple natural techniques that do not involve use of any sort of drugs, chemicals be used to relieve it. Acupressure is one such technique.
It is at times extremely effective to cure pains including those of menstrual cramps.
The pressure points for cramp relieve techniques are usually abdomen, fingers, and a few others.
You can consult an expert and get to know the pressure points and techniques. Then, you can practice it by yourself at home.
5. Heat therapy
Applying heat compress is by far the most well-known technique to relieve period cramps.
When you are at home, you can try out multiple heating techniques to relieve cramps.
- Wrap a hot water bottle in a cotton cloth and massage the lower abdomen with it in a rolling fashion for at least 10 minutes.
- Dry heat or microwave some table salt and wrap it in a cotton cloth. Use it as a natural heating pad. Due to high specific heat capacity, sodium retains the heat effectively for a long time. The dry heat helps to effectively diminish the cramps and pain.
6. Take a luxurious bath
Have proper bath. Mostly, it so happens that during periods, girls don’t feel like taking bath because of irritation and lack of energy.
But a relaxing bath with some bath salts and essential oils can not only help to cleanse your body, but also impart an extremely soothing mood.
Exercise is another important practice. Get out of the primitive idea that you should not work out much during periods because it will lead to more pain in muscles.
Yoga and simple non strenuous exercises can actually relieve the pain of distressed muscles. Try out a few simple postures like the staff or bridge pose.
Practice breathing exercises to lighten your mood and amplify your energy levels. Yoga is a great stress reducer that makes you feel good during your periods.
Lastly, if the pain has reached beyond tolerance and you are literally dying of pain, you can resort to medications like Ibuprofen that are chronic pain relievers. But do not make this a regular habit.
Sleep well, eat well, and be happy. That is the key to win over your period cramps.